As the summer's coming to a close it would seem, from looking at my infrequent blog posts, that I haven't been doing much with art. In fact, I have been doing too much with art. In April I decided that I would lay out a summer semester for myself complete with a reading week and three weeks off before the fall semester. I took an extra elective to lighten the fourth year schedule (which I highly recommend doing), and I also set weekly assignments for myself ranging from readings to specific projects such as copying a master oil painting. I did fairly well with sticking to my schedule, and I did learn a great deal, but at the end of it all I am left feeling a little burnt out. I need a break from this break.
I am reminded of some strong words of advice given to me by some close friends who are successful, professional artists. In first year, Sam told me that "It's a marathon." You keep a steady pace so as to not wear yourself out. Robin Muller retold the timeless story of the Tortoise and the Hare. It seems flashy to out-run the competition, but the same advice was given to me in musical theatre; those who rise quickly, fall quickly.
Finally, an elderly man, Colin, sitting across the table from me in this cafe just reinforced the idea of LSD: long, slow distances. In his youth he would try to beat the seasoned cross-country runners to the finish, but whenever he reached the same steep hill each day the older men would breeze past him. He learned that he must pace himself and run alongside his peers instead of always trying to defeat them.
I really enjoy what I do, and I want to be able to enjoy art and the animation industry for years to come. It's time to keep that steady pace and be able to last 'til the end. Just to drive home this concept, here's the Disney take on the Tortoise and the Hare, and I think Walt knew what he was doing. See you all in September.